Thousands of unarmed Israeli troops marched into four Gaza Strip settlements today-Sunday, in a push to complete the Israeli evacuation of the territory this week.
Army bulldozers smashed through the gates of the Katif settlement, where pullout opponents had set fires to tires and garbage to block troops from entering.
To the south, dozens of teenagers at Atsmona greeted troops with anti-pullout chants. However, no violence was reported there or in the nearby enclave of Slav. Hundreds more troops met no resistance at Elei Sinai in northern Gaza.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon denounced Jewish extremist attacks against soldiers and police. Speaking ahead of a weekly cabinet meeting, he also harshly criticized settler leaders for inciting resistance to the evacuation.
Israeli troops are set to begin evacuating Netzarim -- the last of 21 Gaza settlements -- on Monday.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.